Councillors agree strategy for new Burgess Hill homes

BURGESS HILL councillors have agreed a multi-million pound strategy for ensuring the town gets proper facilities as it takes about 5,000 homes by 2026.

Another sixth form, a sporting centre of excellence, and new grounds for Burgess Hill Town FC and the town's "All Blacks" rugby club are included in the response to the Mid Sussex District Council's Core Strategy, a plan for building in Mid Sussex.

The full executive summary follows:

Burgess Hill Councillors (Three Tiers) Group

Core Strategy - Burgess Hill Chapter

Executive Summary

1.1 Burgess Hill Councillors (Three Tiers) Group states that in order to absorb additional housing development it is necessary to deliver the necessary improvements to create a fully sustainable community for the future. By adopting a positive and holistic approach to the Core Strategy this can be achieved. The views contained in this report reflect the views of the community as expressed through the Market Towns Health Check, entitled Burgess Hill into the Future, extensive public consultation and several Annual Town meetings. The proposals also take into account the achievements and lessons learned from the 1993 Burgess Hill Local Plan. The aim is to create a new fully sustainable town for the 21st century. The Plan aims to create an enhanced, quality environment that is 'contained' in line with national aspirations. The creation of a fully sustainable town is essential in order not to become a dormitory town with an even higher level of commuting in and out. By adopting this framework within which to accept additional housing Burgess Hill Councillors (Three Tiers) Group recognise that this will assist Mid Sussex District Council in achieving its difficult housing targets.

1.2 To achieve this aim, a holistic approach to the total delivery of all housing is needed if the problems experienced in the past from piecemeal development are to be avoided. The cumulative effect of fragmented planning has resulted in the creation of a community that is currently unsustainable.

1.3 Therefore, it is essential that the cumulative impact of the proposed strategic housing sites, small scale housing sites, SHLAA sites and "windfalls" are taken into account to create a holistic Town-Wide Master Plan for the town. The strategic sites alone cannot deliver all the required improvements on their own; therefore it is essential that all development contributes to the town's requirements. In fact, the "non strategic locations" create virtually the same number of dwellings as the "strategic sites" therefore a mechanism is needed to ensure all developments contribute on an equitable basis to the required improvements to the town, through a Town Fund. All of the "non strategic locations" are located within the "Built up Area" therefore land as well as financial contributions towards improvements is important.

1.4 Burgess Hill is bisected by the main London to Brighton railway line which runs through the town on a north/south axis with only two east/west vehicular crossing points. Therefore, it is necessary to develop an eastern and western strategy for the town, merging at interchange points at Burgess Hill and Wivelsfield railway stations and fully connected to the town centre. This will create an overarching solution. The consequences of not adopting this approach would result in a fragmented and unsustainable community. It will also help overcome the 'leakage' from Burgess Hill by residents to shop and work elsewhere.

1.5 This chapter offers a sustainable way forward that provides both housing and employment growth and outlines the necessary infrastructure that is required. The list below outlines the key aspects of the strategy but issues such as water supply, sewage treatment, primary schools, expansion of secondary schooling including an expansion of Oakmeeds College and VI Form facilities, medical, retail and community facilities will all need to be assessed as part of the process. The strategy for Burgess Hill must achieve the following essential principles of development:

• Provision of and fully integrated public and private transport system.

• A new Business Park for Burgess Hill along the A2300 to provide for additional population and to replace the aging and inefficient units in the eastern part of Victoria Business Park.

• A fully integrated transport plan ensuring that all new development has full connectivity with the town centre and the provision of transport interchanges at both railway stations.

• Full linkage and support of the proposals contained in the Town Centre Master Plan.

• The completion of a Green Circle around the town with associated spokes into the town centre and full protection for the urban and urban fringe environment.

• The creation of a Town Fund for Burgess Hill and the surrounding area.

• Centre of Excellence for Sport, opposite the Triangle Leisure Centre and St. Paul's College and integrated accordingly.

• Relocating conflicting uses in urban areas such as builders merchants and sports clubs.

• Creation of a Country Park on part of the Keymer Tileworks site linked to the development of site G, east of Kingsway, by means of a joint development brief.

• The allocation of fit for purpose recreational space to at least meet the minimum standards of 6 acres per 1,000 population through a review of PPG 17.

1.6 The phasing of the housing development and creation of the improved infrastructure is vital. There is a strong preference for phasing on an east to west basis. Connectivity of all new housing sites with the town centre is absolutely essential, together with good access to employment, education, medical and leisure facilities. The eastern strategy particularly deals with the east/west migration to such facilities and the A23. The western strategy addresses the need to provide good linkage to the town centre and deter migration out of Burgess Hill. Both aspects also consider integration between the old and new communities and the impact of the urban fringe developments on neighbouring rural communities.

Eastern Strategy Western Strategy

Site G, east of Kingsway ) Northern Sector (3,500)

and Keymer Tileworks* ) 1,000 units Victoria Business Park (400)

Manor Road (123)* A2300 Business Park

Folders Meadow (90)* Centre of Excellence for Sport

Land north of Maltings Park (105)*

Covers Timber Yard (18)*

Gas Holder site (58)*

* Already allocated as Small Scale Housing Sites.

Total 5,294 new homes (this figure does not include all of the SHLAA sites)

All development sites should be subject to a full development brief

1.7 It is essential that there is ongoing and meaningful community engagement and communication throughout the process.

1.8 The foregoing principles of development are subject to the production of evidence that is currently outstanding, namely:

• Traffic plan to demonstrate connectivity and congestion avoidance.

• Leisure Strategy that supports the requirements of 1.5 above, namely:

o The need to revise PPG 17

o Country Park at Keymer Tileworks

o The Green Circle

o The Centre of Excellence for Sport, including outdoor entertainment and an athletics track

o The development of the Triangle Leisure Centre site for leisure and recreation to meet the needs of the town to 2026 and beyond.

• A more detailed local employment study building on the requirement generated on the recent study on the Gatwick Diamond area, there is a need to address the inward and outward migration for employment, currently 50% +.